Drive safely during snowy weather with these tips

Picture of the roads in Marion County beside the Mason-Dixon Line.

The winter months in the Ohio Valley tend to bring a lot of unwanted snow. Snow can cause hazardous conditions while driving on roadways, so drivers must be cautious and patient during the winter season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated, “In 2019, there were 440 fatal crashes, and an estimated 33,000 injury crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. Preparing yourself – and your vehicle – for winter weather is key.”

In an interview, West Liberty University’s Health & Safety Specialist, Anthony Salatino, gave the following safety tips for winter driving:

1. Avoid cruise control in wintry conditions
The Globe and Mail stated, “For Instance, Subaru’s 2018 EyeSight manual says to avoid cruise control on “frozen roads, snow-covered roads or other slippery road surfaces because the tires may spin, causing loss of control of the vehicle.”

2. Steer in the direction of a skid, so when your wheels regain traction, you don’t have to overcorrect to stay in your lane.
Aceable stated, “Stay calm. Keep your foot off the pedals. Gently steer in the direction you want to go- don’t oversteer or jerk the wheel too quickly.”

3. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
The Ironton Tribune stated, “Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight.”

4. Increase the following distance to eight to 10 seconds. (When following a person, pick a spot that they’re at and count to 10 before you reach that same spot.)
Drive-Safely.Net stated, “Relax, back off, and keep your distance. While driving in hazardous conditions, you shouldn’t be concerned with what time you arrive at your destination. You should be concerned with simply arriving there.”

5. If possible, don’t stop when going uphill
eSafety stated, “Getting a heavy car moving on a steep, icy hill is difficult and dangerous. Whenever possible, get some momentum going on a flat roadway before you carefully cruise up the hill.”

6. Remove all snow and ice from the car and windows by using an ice scraper.

7. Keep a full tank of gas in case you get stuck in traffic or stranded somewhere.

8. Fill up your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid.
Having windshield washer fluid in your vehicle will help you be able to clear off your windows in the winter when snow and ice melt onto your window while you are driving.

9. When the car is parked outside, pull the windshield wipers off the windshield so they don’t freeze.
The Farmers Almanac stated, “Propping your windshield wipers up prevents damage to the wiper motor, should you turn on the ignition and have accidentally left the wipers on (and they’re frozen to the windshield), prevents damaging the rubber, when you have to chisel them away from the windshield, and makes clearing away snow and ice from the windshield easier.”

10. Be on the lookout for black ice and deer.
These safety tips for winter driving not only help you but protect other drivers on the road. Follow these tips and stay safe while driving in these terrible winter conditions.

For further information about staying safe during winter weather, please utilize the online guide shared by Milavets Law which can be found here.